Tuesday, June 29, 2010

little peter cottontail

baby animals are by far the cutest things on this earth. There is something about them that gives you the uncontrollable urge to scoop them up and cradle them forever. (image via here)

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Award for You!

It may sound silly at times, but I am always overwhelmed by how much kindness is floating around the blog world. As crazy and hectic as life can get, people take the time out of their day to write little comments full of sweet advice and lovely compliments. Today, I had the great fortune of being awarded a Versatile Blogger Award from Dani on her blog AdaMedina! Thank you, so much, Dani! (She also used to live in Baltimore, which I find extremely cool. Just a sidenote :)

The rules for this award are that you must list seven things about yourself, and then pass the award along to new and versatile blogs that you like. Then, those that receive it must do the same (and make sure you tell those who have received the award!)...

7 Things:
1. I rode my bicycle across the country last summer from Baltimore to San Francisco
2. I am changing my "life direction" and taking prerequisite classes for nursing school
3. I'm a dog lover through and through
4. I am a coffee addict
5. I have an extremely patient, kind and handsome boyfriend who means the world to me
6. I am incredibly blessed by a loving family
7. I have been trying to ride my bike to work every day this summer! (except when it rains)

And the Versatile Blogger Awards go to...

Hope State Style
by Caroline- I went to high school with Caroline and her fashion sense has only matured with time, it seems, through her extensive classes at Brown and RISD. She's a wonderful environmentalist, too, and always gives great tips on living a simple life as beautifully as possible!

She Eats Bears by Marysol- This blog is for all you foodies out there who need a little inspiration...I cannot get enough of the fact that Marysol cooks her own meals with homegrown vegetables practically every day! Her recipes are top-notch...I can attest to this since I recently used her recipe for coconut cupcakes (or "coconut petits gateaux") and they were the most fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes I've ever been able to create. Thank you, Marysol!

16 House by Mandy- "a scrapbook of inspiring things" is her tag line, and that is exactly what this versatile blog is. It is full of interior designs, artwork, "friday favorites" and everything in between. I adore Mandy's taste in food, fashion, art and decor. Check it out!

Beyond Function by Laurel- Laurel is the one I hold responsible for helping me dig this blog out of the rubble. I was having a not-so-great time at one point last year, having come back from my cycling trip and not knowing what to do next, and she suddenly began leaving the sweetest comments on this blog! I hadn't written in it for quite a few months, but her kind words got me back into gear with posting and here it is today. She is currently in the process of planning her wedding and I just love following her journey through life...she's such a wonderful person and always has great fashion sense to share with all.

Pacing the Panic Room by Ryan- I can't remember how I came across this blog, but the author (Ryan) is a photographer/videographer who is kind enough to share his projects with the rest of the blogging community. He most recently did a great piece on the Gulf oil spill, and despite a hectic schedule, he always seems to make time for his two beautiful children and wife. His insights on life are also pretty amazing and quite entertaining at times.

There ya go! I hope you all go ahead and pass along the award- and thanks for always sharing your thoughts and inspiration with the rest of us!

Friday, June 25, 2010

weddings on the brain

After attending my friend Alex's wedding this past weekend, I got to thinking about my own wedding (anticipated to take place quite a few years into the future...of course...a girl needs to get proposed to first!). I started spinning ideas in my head about the flowers and the dress, the cake and the reception, and just the overall feeling of things. I want it to be a warm, carefree day where people come in their sunday best with a casual flare, ready to eat, dance and have a wonderful time celebrating.

The happy, gorgeous couple! All smiles.

It would take place on a sprawling farm in Florence (or just outside in my parent's backyard...it's so cozy and beautiful there! Tons of colorful flowers and deer running through on a daily basis) with wild flowers and lavender in all of the arrangements. The ceremony itself would be small, with only close family and friends invited. The reception would be a huge family-style last supper-style wooden table and everyone from the town would be invited to take part in the post-wedding festivities. All the food would be grown/made locally with my foody taste in mind! The cake would be spilling over with sprigs of lavender and honeysuckle flowers. And of course, there would have to be an enormous dessert bar, filled with cupcakes and traditional Italian cookies, with sides of gourmet coffees/espresso (an ode to my other love).

{via here}

{via here}

There would be dancing well into the night, with a live band playing Corrine Bailey Rae-esque music, speckled with oldies but goodies songs, as well. In between band breaks, an old record player would croon to songs from our parents' era.

And the dress? Well, what would a wedding be without a phenomenal dress? Of course, I don't know what dress I would possibly be able to choose for my wedding as of yet. However, I did come across this GORGEOUS "oysters and pearls" dress on Etsy this morning, and I could not bring myself to delete the link from my desktop all day today. How wonderful would that be to wear to your wedding reception? I find it extremely whimsical and carefree looking. Maybe someday...

{via here}

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

cutest. ever.

Ummm...adorable?! Taking time out of this hectic day to share some cuteness with you all. Enjoy!

When Life Gives you Lemons...

...make coffee.

This past weekend was beyond insanity. I don't think I've ever been so many places, both in mind and body, at once. I am finally gaining a bit of calm, so hopefully nothing too nutty comes along in the next few weeks! Pictures of weekend festivities (including a wedding and sissy's graduation from high school) to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


These images are absolutely gorgeous.

Beautiful photographs by Noah Abrams, titled "Skateistan" documents the emerging skateboarding scene in Afghanistan during his visit in the summer of 2009. (found via GOOD)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir
{via here}

This quote was in the Huffington Post today, and as beautiful as it seems, it is also tragic to read. The environmental damage that we as only one nation on this entire earth have caused is horrendous. As we witness the drastic and painful decline of the Gulf Coast and its waters, we must recognize our ever-increasing role as global citizens and do our best as individuals united to create change now and for our future generations.

Here is one very useful tip to shut down operations like BP and others whose offshore drilling only further endangers our fragile home...

RIDE A BIKE! I know it can be scary sometimes to hop onto a bike after not touching it since you were 10 years old, but once you do, oh! it is so liberating! You can pass traffic (I beat the shuttle into work today), you can climb mountains, improve your health and gain some killer leg muscles :) I recently bought a used Schwinn Traveler for Salman and it's in excellent condition! You can easily find an inexpensive used bicycle at places like Craigslist or your local bike shop. You don't need a fancy schmancy thing to have it serve it's purpose!

Happy Riding!

A Leafy Green Timeline

We found our CSA share!!! It must've been hiding...One Straw Farm also distributes people's shares at the JHU East Baltimore campus (where I work) and we were able to pick ours up from them on Tuesday. Here is a recap of this share's lifeline within our kitchen as of yesterday...

We got about 5 different types of leafy greens...I will have to figure out some different recipes in order to use them all. They are all so colorful, though! There's red lettuce, green lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and arugula. We also got some radishes, and garlic snape (??), as well as 3 (yes, three!) quarts of strawberries. Unfortunately, my excitement over the strawberries was matched by Oregon, who successfully inhaled an entire quart while I was out of the kitchen for 5 seconds. I mean, it was as if they didn't even exist when I came back! At least she's got good taste in food ;)

strawberries pre-Oregon attack
Innocent little Oregon, sitting on her rug in the kitchen...paying no mind...

overcome with guilt, post-strawberry consumption.

Mixed greens, Strawberry, red bell pepper, sliced almond salad with homemade honey mustard dressing! YUM!

These are our asparagus from the farmer's market...they weren't included in our share, but they were still SO delicious. They're also grown using "hydroponics," meaning they're grown in water without soil! Isn't that crazy?? They are also such lovely colors :)

Steam-sauteed with some olive oil, salt and pepper...and voila! (I call it "steam-sautee" because I put them in the pan on the stove top but then put a lid over top and seal in the moisture while the flame is on so they don't release all of their nutrients...look how green they turn out, too!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bikeride to Work

{via here}

Today was my first day riding my bike to work! I've always been a bit apprehensive about riding into work on my own. I love the city, but Baltimore can sometimes be a bit intimidating. However, my friend Nicole from the 4K team last summer is working on the same campus as me since she's graduated, and she posed the idea that we bike in to work together. What a beautiful morning it was, too :) The heat and humidity is gone for now, and the cool breeze felt wonderful as we coasted down Guilford Ave.

It also gives you the feeling that you're doing something to relieve the planet of those ever-bothersome carbon emissions! I take a shuttle to work everyday, usually, which is ok. However, maybe me giving up my seat on the shuttle a couple days a week will allow someone else to take it, rather than driving their car into work....who knows :)

CSA sidenote: Apparently, we aren't supposed to pick up our CSA share until this coming weekend, but we did come across some delicious two-toned asparagus that were oh-so-delicious last night sauteed with olive oil, salt and peppa! Pictures to come.

Friday, June 4, 2010

happy weekend & CSA!

Salman, my new roommate for the summer (Sonia), and I have joined the CSA with One Straw Farm here in Maryland! "CSA" stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Each week we get to pick up a half share of fruits/vegetables at the Waverly Farmer's Market. One Straw Farm is completely organic, too! I can't wait to share pictures with you of our first share this weekend :)

Try to find a CSA program near you!

Happy weekend.

Friday Find: VeryPurplePerson

{via here}

Many people create. They delve into something with such a passion and fervor that they forget the world around them, and stay driven until what they've completed is finished. I find it so enthralling to bake sometimes, that when I'm baking I cannot be bothered with anything else. I am in the zone, and I'm in the process of making my own creation. However, sometimes that creation may not come to fruition as we had expected it. The cookies may come out too chewy (see previous post), the colors may not appear on the canvas as they do in the jar, and the fabric may bunch and pucker unexpectedly.

The Indonesian-born designer living in Japan, Novita of "Very Purple Person" seems to have her creations almost appear before your eyes. Nevertheless, she's not afraid to admit to her mistakes (see her green dress upset...although, it looks wonderful to me). After spending some time delving through her blog, I had to share it with you all! Her clothes are impeccable, adorable, etc etc! Best of all, she has her own Etsy shop where you can peruse her latest creations and purchase them at rather reasonable prices.

She also sells her 6 year old son's crayon drawings at her etsy shop. Now, talk about adorable.

{via here}

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vegan Baking?

{via here}

Last night I babysat for Max, a smart little dude who lives next door to us in our apartment building. Seriously, he is 4 years old, but has the brain of a 10 year old. He's also adorable. I felt so bad for him because Oregon kept licking him like crazy, but he was so "whatever, it's cool" about it.

We were both craving chocolate chip cookies last night (Max is a fellow lover of chocolate...or connossieur shall I say?) I went into my cabinets and began pulling out the ingredients: olive oil (instead of butter), salt, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, eggs....EGGS....AH! I had no eggs left due to our wild escapade of baking two batches of brownies the night before Salman left to go home to Texas. What to do? Baking is my save-all method of keeping kiddies occupied and teaching them something new at the same time. So, I googled "egg substitute" and VOILA! Bananas! I had four super-rippened bananas in my fridge waiting to be whipped into banana cupcakes. Instead, I pulled two out and we mashed them up and threw them into the gooey batter. First I dipped my pinky in to test the taste...then Max asked, "can I do that too?" we swiped a dollop of goo and smacked our lips. It was delicious!

Now you know! 1/2 large banana = 1 egg

Does this mean I'm a vegan chef? Hardly. The cookies, although great tasting, didn't come out as attractive looking as they usually do. They were flat and a bit chewy...but oh so yummy!

If you can, put away your butter into the freezer and don't worry about not-enough eggs. Oil and bananas will do the trick for now :)